The American-japanese Relations Before Japan's Attack On Pearl Harbor

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September 1st, 1939 marked the beginning of World War 2, but the United States didn’t enter the war until two years after. The bombing of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu caused the US to enter the war on the Allied side. The attack was on December 7.1941 by Japan. Hundreds of Japaneese fighter planes destroyed 20 American naval vessels, eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. The attack was devastating for the United States, many military men and civilians died. I believe the Pearl Harbor attack causes so much destruction to the United States, that joining the war was inevitable. The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack. 

There are many reasons why Japan was able to pull it off. One reason being Japan modified their aerial torpedos to work in the 40 foot shallow water of Pearl Harbor. They put wooden fins on the back of the torpedos to act as a stabilizing device. Then when they were dropped into the water, the wood fin would break off, pulling the front of the torpedo up, so the torpedo wouldn’t dive straight down into the water. Japan also had s spy located on the Island. His name was Takeo Yoshikawa, and he played a huge role in the attack. Japan moved Yoshikawa to Honolulu 9 months before the attack. His job was to report back to Japan about the operations of the Pearl Harbor fleet. He would tell Japan when ships would leave and arrive, and also the location of them. The US knew Japan was planning an attack, they just didn’t know when and where. On the morning of December 7, 1941 the United States figured out the attack was on its way to Pearl Harbor, but it was too late. Pearl Harbor was already getting bombed by the time they got the message from the Capitol, that Japan was coming. The attack of Pearl Harbor is what caused the US to enter World War II. It was very devastating for the United States. 

About 2400 men died. We lost many military men and civilians too. The US naval base was destroyed, including twenty vessels, 8 battleships, and 300 airplanes. Japan caused an immense amount of destruction to the US, staying out of the war was not an option. Japan being an island of its own, relied on the resources of other countries to be sustainable. In the beginning of the 20th century Japan no longer wanted to rely on other countries to survive, so they began to work on the expansion of their country. 1931 Japan began their first invasion in Manchuria, China. Japan began their invasions in Manchuria because of their resources such as iron, soybean, and large amount of unsettled land. Japan’s aggression towards China affected the United States because China was allies of the US. After Japan’s successful invasion of Manchuria, they later invaded another city in China called Nanjing. 

The invasion of Nanjing was in 1937. During this attack Japan took down an American gun boat known as USS Panay, wounding dozens of American military men and killing three. America’s response to Japan’s aggression towards China and attacking one of our boats was to take out Japan’s resources. The United States passes economic sanctions towards Japan, stopping them from receiving imports and exports from aircrafts, scrap metal, and oil. The United States had hopes that this would end the Japanese expansion, but it didn’t. In 1940 Japan invaded French Indochina to block one of China’s imports, and also became allies with Germany and Italy, joining the Axis powers. July of 1941 America officially cut their oil supply to Japan. Japan relied on America for 80 percent of its oil. Japan was no longer able to expand because they relied on oil to run their military. The only way for Japan to continue its expansion was to take out the US fleet in the Pacific then occupy South East Asia. July 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The attack brought the US out of isolation, and the United States declared war on Japan on July 8,1941, officially entering the US into the war. 

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